Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I don't like Barbie. I think I may be alone in this because judging by the amount of Barbie-related junk (move, books, hair clips, pens, bike, iphone apps, rubbish bin etc etc) there must be an awful lot of people out there who are happily buying into the vacuous blond bimbo. I, however, am not one of them.

I have nothing against dolls per se. In fact Eve has lots. She loves, and I entirely approve of, the Disney Princesses. They are feisty, clever, witty and often the prince is nothing but a mere sideshow. One of the latest films, the Princess and the Frog, was ultimately about pursuing your own dream to run a business - the prince and the princess bit was a bit irrelevant to the main part of the story. Here is someone who is an excellent role model for the modern young girl. Therefore, Eve has lots of princess related stuff, including the dolls, and I have no problem with it.

It's just Barbie. Aside from the fact that her body shape is utterly unrealistic (although I read recently that her boobs have got smaller over the last 10 years, that's OK then but she still wouldn't be able to stand up and would have awful back problems) her only real talent or appeal comes in being pretty and wearing nice clothes. In the 1960s Barbie started to have the odd job but they have always been traditionally female roles and, as I said to a male colleague yesterday, even Doctor Barbie wears an outfit more likely to have come out of his fantasy than mine. As if to refute my claim that "you'd never get a banker Barbie", he found one online. Of course she's not sitting behind a trading screen, but at the reception of a suitably pink branch.

Eve knows that Mummy isn't too keen on Barbie and, while looking at a picture in a Barbie book the other day (which I will allow in the house) she asked me why I don't like Barbie. I replied that it wasn't that I disliked Barbie but rather than I think women should be valued for their intellect, skills and talent rather than just how they look and what they wear. Her reply "But Mummy, don't you think her dress looks pretty?".

I'll try feminism again when Eve is five.


I don't get much time on my own to write the blog, so I tend to have to do it all at once. So that I don't forget the posts I have not had time to write tonight, I am going to give a preview of the next 3 posts.

Sports Day
Air travel

Feel free to vote on which one you would like to read first!

Working Mum's dilemma

It is mother's day next Sunday everywhere except the UK. This means that the Boy gets a shot at not forgetting, having been reminded back in March already about the UK one. It also means that Mums get invited to participate in lots of celebrations of Mum-hood.

Except, like most things, I always leave it to the last minute and forget. This year, with Eve at the stupidly-expensive-what-am-I-paying-for pre-school, Mums get invited in to have something made for us and a special Mum's story. It is on the 6th May so I booked the time off months ago, moved meetings, arranged to be in the country.

Then we get an email on 29th April, just before a HK public holiday, when the school is on vacation, saying that it has been moved to one week later. Cue panic and annoyance from me. They post the important dates on their website and I arrange my working life around them so that I can attend concerts and sports days and expected events, it is simply not acceptable to change them with one week notice. I almost wrote a nasty email back as disgruntled of Pokfulam, but it seemed a bit pointless because it wouldn't make any difference. Most of the Mums at the school don't work (I've only found one other that does so far) so presumably most only needed to change their yoga classes or tennis lessons.

Do I sound like a bitch? Probably.

The friends you make during pregnancy

While staying in on my own last night (public holiday so no nanny and the Boy is visiting one of my favourite cities in the world - boo hiss) I watched an interesting program on BBC Knowledge about diet and fat. Apparently, one can increase the number of fat cells in ones body, for example when one is pregnant and tends to lay down a little extra for winter, but once they are there we can't get rid of them. It doesn't matter what you try, they just sit their waiting to soak up fat.

So all those hours at the gym and denying myself doughnuts is pointless.

Then I hit upon the solution. Surgery. A bit over the top?

Summer has finally hit HK

Within one day of the temperature changing, I have 10 mossie bites and feel like one big itch. Despite being on the 23rd floor and too far away from the ground for the little blighters to fly into the flat, the little bastards have a way of getting into the lift on or with someone and setting up home in our flat. One has been munching me for the last two nights, despite deet, citronella and mossie coils going all night.

As I was in my kitchen this evening making a cup of tea, the horrid (and, may I say, rather full) looking suspect tried to land on me. Ha, gotcha. I feel great now and hope to sleep in peace - unless there are two of them...

When the cat's away

When I was growing up my Dad rarely went on business trips and when he did it was usually to see some sort of nuclear machine in Switzerland. I remember his trips for two reasons. Firstly because he used to bring back presents, a music box, a bear, chocolate. Secondly, because whenever he went away some calamity would befall the family. One year there was the UK's strongest hurricane in decades, made famous my Michael Fish declaring there was only a bit of mild wind on the way. Another year I recall my Mum dropping me off at school and watching the exhaust fall off the car as she drove down the road.

This tradition seems to have been passed down a generation and, with stunning regularity, Eve always gets sick when the Boy is on a business trip. Of the 4 times we have taken Eve to hospital (not as extreme as it sounds, the doctors in HK don't do "on call" so our only option on a weekend or evening is to head to the local hospital), three of these times the Boy has been away.

He flew to Turkey on Sunday. Today is Tuesday and, true to form, Eve has a stinking fever with no obvious cause and I am looking at a sleepless night on my own.